Maa-nulth Final Agreement: Maa-nulth First Nation Lands
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The Maa-nulth Final Agreement was negotiated by the Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia and the Maa-nulth First Nations. The five Maa-nulth First Nations are Ucluelet First Nation, Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Toquaht Nation, Ka:'yu:'k't'h'/Che:k'tles7et'h' First Nations, and Uchucklesaht Tribe, all located on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The Maa-nulth First Nations represent about 2,000 people. Maa-nulth means “villages along the coast” in the Nuu-chah-nulth language.
The Maa-nulth Final Agreement is among the first Final Agreements reached in the province under the British Columbia treaty process. The Final Agreement sets out each Maa-nulth First Nation's rights and benefits respecting land and resources, and self-government over its lands and resources and its citizens. The Final Agreement provides certainty for all parties with respect to ownership and management of lands and resources and the exercise of federal, provincial and Maa-nulth First Nation governmental powers and authorities.
The negotiation of a Final Agreement marks Stage Five of the six-stage British Columbia treaty process, and is the conclusion of substantive treaty negotiations. Once ratified by all parties, the Final Agreement will become a treaty through legislation. It will be a constitutionally-protected legal agreement which creates mutually binding obligations and commitments.
Maa-nulth First Nation Lands
The Final Agreement treaty settlement land package consists of approximately 24,550 hectares of fee-simple treaty settlement land, known as Maa-nulth First Nation Lands. Each Maa-nulth First Nation government will have law-making authority over its Maa-nulth First Nation Lands, although federal and provincial laws will continue to apply. The Final Agreement clearly sets out which law will prevail if there is a conflict.
Huu-ay-aht First Nations:1,077 hectares of former reserves and 7,181 hectares of additional lands
Ka:'yu:'k't'h'/Che:k'tles7et'h' First Nations:379 hectares of former reserves and 5,920 hectares of additional lands
Toquaht Nation:196 hectares of former reserves and 1,293 hectares of additional lands
Uchucklesaht Tribe: 233 hectares of former reserves and 2,834 hectares of additional lands
Ucluelet First Nation: 199 hectares of former reserves, 5,147 hectares of additional lands, and a further 92 hectares of land acquired by Canada and British Columbia.
Treaty settlement lands will be transferred to the Maa-nulth First Nations as of the effective date of the treaty. Each Maa-nulth First Nation may then apply to have its lands registered in the provincial land title system. This arrangement will provide greater flexibility and efficiency, and allow the Maa-nulth First Nations to use their lands to raise capital.
The Ucluelet First Nation will also own, as private fee-simple lands, eight surplus federal government lots in the District of Ucluelet. These are not Maa-nulth First Nation Lands, and therefore the Ucluelet First Nation government will not have law-making authority over them; ownership will be the same as for any other private land owner in British Columbia.
While all parties agree that as a general principle Maa-nulth First Nation Lands will not be subject to expropriation, the Final Agreement contains processes whereby either Canada or British Columbia may expropriate Maa-nulth First Nation Lands.
Additions to Maa-nulth First Nation Lands
Each Maa-nulth First Nation has identified parcels of fee-simple land it may acquire after the effective date of the treaty. The Final Agreement includes provisions that will allow for these parcels to be declared as Maa-nulth First Nation Lands if they are purchased within 15 years after the effective date.
In addition, each Maa-nulth First Nation may add other fee-simple land to its Maa-nulth First Nation Lands, subject to the agreement of Canada and British Columbia and to the consent of the municipality if the lands are within municipal boundaries.
Resources on Maa-nulth First Nation Lands
Each Maa-nulth First Nation will own and manage all forest resources on its Maa-nulth First Nation Lands, and will own most of the subsurface resources on or beneath the surface of those lands. Each Maa-nulth First Nation will be able to determine and collect any fees for the development or extraction of these resources. Those submerged lands which were part of former reserves form part of the Maa-nulth First Nations Lands for the applicable Maa-nulth First Nation.
Federal and provincial personnel will have access to Maa-nulth First Nation Lands to carry out requirements under federal and provincial law.
The Final Agreement provides for reasonable public access for hiking, canoeing and other recreational activities on Maa-nulth First Nation Lands. While the general public may hunt and fish on Maa-nulth First Nation Lands, each Maa-nulth First Nation can regulate access for these activities. There are provisions to ensure public access for rights-of-way and navigable waters, and specific access for owners of adjacent fee-simple parcels and tenure-holders. Public provincial highways and major roads will continue to be owned and maintained by the province. Specified public utility rights-of-way will continue on Maa-nulth First Nation Lands.
Leases and licences on Maa-nulth First Nation Lands
Some tenures will continue in their present form after the effective date, whereas other tenures will be replaced with other forms of tenure negotiated by the parties.
Commercial recreation tenure
On or before the effective date of the treaty, British Columbia will designate up to 12 hectares of provincial Crown land for each Maa-nulth First Nation under the Land Act, for a term of at least 15 years, for the purpose of providing the applicable Maa-nulth First Nation an opportunity to apply for commercial recreation tenure.
Maa-nulth First Nations and the neighbouring community
Under the Final Agreement, each Maa-nulth First Nation government may participate in regional governments established under provincial law to ensure local planning and efficiencies in the delivery of local services. No later than 10 years after the effective date of the treaty, the Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Uchucklesaht Tribe, Ucluelet First Nation and Toquaht Nation may each appoint one director to the board of the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, and the Ka'yu:'k't'h'/Che:k:tles7et'h' First Nations may appoint one director to the board of the Regional District of Comox-Strathcona.
If you would like more information about the Maa-nulth Final Agreement, contact:
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada BC Region
600-1138 Melville St.
Vancouver, BC V6E 4S3
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
PO Box 9100 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, BC V8W 9B1
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